How to fix nails damaged by polish and tips
“Acrylics don’t ruin your nails, bad nail technicians ruin your nails.” That’s according to nail expert and owner of Verdo Nails, Amber McIver, on the bad rap gel polish sometimes has for causing fragile, flaky nail beds.
RELATED: 5 popular nail myths busted
”Overzealous nail prep of your nails will cause damage. Both acrylic and gel polishes CAN leave your nails a little dehydrated, this is part of having something on your nails. However, it’s more prominent for those of us who suffer from a little more dehydration than others. I have clients who have worn gel polish or acrylic for years and no issues with brittle nails.”
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💅 Acrylics 💅 I don’t often take new acrylic clients, as I don’t have enough space in the week to fit them long term. However, sometimes when someone gets married, I make it happen. ▶️ Swipe for before. www.verdo.co.nz
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So how do you prevent them looking all dry and withered when the colour comes off? First up, don’t let the manicurist rough up your natural nail bed under the guise of making the gel adhere better. Also never pick off your acrylic or gel polish, warns McIver. “This will take layers off with it, causing your nails to become weak.” Instead, they should be soaked to encourage colour to lift off gently.
The good news is, like hair, nails replenish constantly. To rehab damaged ones and keep them growing long and strong, McIver is a big proponent of a good manicure (at home or in salon) after the colour comes off to keep free edges from snagging and applying cuticle oil religiously. Think in your car, at your desk and before you go to bed.
"Caring for your nails is the best way to get your gel polish to last longer, and maintaining natural nail health. Applying oil is the best thing you can do, it promotes strength and flexibility. I also take a silica supplement however, this isn’t a quick fix, rather than an investment of time to get your silica levels to a therapeutic level in your system, where you see results.“
Don't feel you need to go nude either. “Your nails don’t need to ‘breathe’, this is an old wives tale, confirms McIver. ”If you feel better with them being painted, by all means do so. Just make sure you use a good base coat to protect them.”
And just one more nail myth crushed for the road: “Tiny round white spots are a sign of dehydration, not a vitamin deficiency. You can get these with or without gel polish. Bigger ones with no consistency in shape and size on one or two nails tend to be nail bruises, or injury to the nail bed. They will just grow out as your nail does. The lines on your nails is usually a tell tale sign you’ve picked off your gel polish. This is where you have pulled off some of your nail with it, causing ridge like lines on your nail plate.”
If you want to ensure the long term health of your nails, a good idea is to do your research about any salon where you're considering getting your nails done. "Cheap isn’t always good, and often this can come at the cost of your health, explains McIver. "These cheaper nail bars, often reuse files, toe separators etc, these places often draw blood when preforming services, which can pass on any communicable disease. If you don’t want to spend the money, invest in your own at home manicure tools, and learn to take care of your nails yourself, then if you have the money go and have them done somewhere decent just a little less often.